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Chapter 6: What We Owe to Each Other is the 6th episode of Season 1 of The Good Place.

Synopsis Edit

ELEANOR TRIES TO PUT HER BEST FOOT FORWARD — Eleanor (Kristen Bell) is enlisted to help Michael (Ted Danson) with an important task that could determine her fate in the Good Place. Meanwhile, Chidi (William Jackson Harper) agrees to be the third wheel in an effort to help out his friend.

SummaryEdit

Eleanor has promised to help Michael figure out what's responsible for the neighborhood's problems, and she's anxious since she knows it's her. But she promised to help, and Chidi reminds her of the importance of following through on promises; he teaches her about Contractualism, the need to make and stick to agreements.

Eleanor comes to Michael's office; he looks unkempt, unshaven and his tie is disarranged, it seems like he's obsessed with the neighborhood problem. (He spends some time apologizing for the mess in his office that she can't see, since she can't see nine dimensions.) He says he had studied the human idea of "friends" (and even watched all of "Friends" in preparation, there are "Friends" references throughout the episode), and thinks he could use a friend. Eleanor says she's that person, because she promised to help him.

(Throughout, there are flashbacks into Eleanor's life, all around a promise that she made, and failed to keep, to a friend of hers who really needed help. She says all the right words to "promise" her help, but clearly never takes it seriously.)

At Tahani and Jason's house, Jason is still acting like "Jianyu". She suggests that the two of them visit a couples spa in the neighborhood, to build up their relationship, or at least to talk, small talk, big talk, anything.

Jason hurries to ask Chidi for advice, talking honestly to Tahani would be too much. He wants Chidi to come with them. Chidi is indecisive, he doesn't want to, he'd be a third in a couples setting, but maybe he has an obligation to help Tahani... He'd debate himself forever but Tanahi interrupts them, and he has to make a choice: he'll come with them.

Michael has a theory that some object in the neighborhood has a design flaw that is causing the trouble; he's found a pile of rocks that he's suspicious of, and wants Eleanor to help see if any are defective. She pulls him away from the obsessive work: he needs a break, and as a friend she'll make him have one.

Tahani, Jason, and Chidi arrive at The Good Face Spa, where Janet takes some explaining to accept Chidi being the third part of Tahani and Jason's couple. Chidi takes some time to try to convince Jason to step up and interact with Tahani.

Michael and Eleanor are having frozen yogurt, and Michael explains why they have it here instead of ice cream: "There's something so human about taking something great and ruining it a little so you can have more of it." He also says that "Architects" don't usually live in their neighborhoods, the people are welcomed by only Janet and then left alone; but he wondered if the transition would be easier if he were there. But if the neighborhood doesn't work, Michael is in big trouble. Also, he's promised the people that they would be happy here, and "you just don't break a promise."

Next, Michael and Eleanor are singing "Blaze of Glory" in an empty-looking Karaoke club.

At the spa, Tahani suggests Janet give her a massage, and for Jason to talk about himself. This gets Jason uncomfortable, so Chidi suggests an alternative: Janet massages Tanahi and Chidi massages "Jianyu". They start that, Tahani asking Jason to talk about anything, but gets nothing comprehensible from him.

Michael and Eleanor playing bowling and other carnival games. Michael remarks that he'd missed how humans do nothing but think about how to have fun.

(Flashback: Eleanor fudging on the promise she made to her friend, so she can go to Vegas.)

At the spa, the three are lying with mud packs on their faces, and Tahani still can't get Jason to say anything. As Tahani goes off to the sauna, Chidi encourages Jason to share something, anything, pick anything Tahani is interested in and "muddle through", like Impressionist paintings (the last thing Tahani talked about). Jason is suddenly energized and runs off to do ... something.

Michael and Eleanor are back at his office, and he agrees that she helped him get away from his problems.

It's night, and Tahani is waiting, alone, at a table in the Tea for Two Couples Cafe. Chidi comes to her and asks if that is where she really wants to be. She says she's resigned to being alone, she and "Jianyu" have nothing in common. She has no soul mate. As they talk, it does look like Chidi and Tahani do have a lot in common, are interested in the same things in art, for instance.

The next day, Eleanor comes to Michael's office, and she has more fun planned, but he has bigger news: the neighborhood's chaos can't be from the architecture, it must be due to one of the people in it. Michael's ready to celebrate, but Eleanor is filled with dread: she knows it's her.

Michael and Eleanor walk around outside, speculating on who they are looking for, and whether whoever it is even knows what he or she is doing. They are where the garbage fell from the sky, and Michael asks Janet for a list of those who did garbage duty earlier. Eleanor is nervous: Janet reveals a piece of paper with a very short list. Then Janet adds another list, of all those who flew overhead, a reassuringly large list, and Eleanor is relieved.

Jason is back at his room, playing video games, when Chidi comes in. Jason has a "best gift ever" for Tahani: a portrait of Frank Caliendo, "the best impressionist of all time."

Michael and Eleanor are in the restaurant where the sinkhole opened up, and that night the guest list was limited: Janet has 30 names. But then she adds 66 others who passed through earlier, so Eleanor can say this is no clue at all. Michael says he's giving up, he can't help the people he promised to help, he lays down and hopes the sinkhole will open up and swallow him.

(Flashback: Eleanor happily eating as her friend confronts her with the consequences of Eleanor failing to do as she promised. Eleanor's response: "You're rude.")

Eleanor reminds Michael that she promised to help, and she'll be there for him however he needs to deal with the problem. This enlivens Michael, who says he's found the answer to the problem. He tells Janet to call a neighborhood meeting, of the "moribund and devastating" sort. Eleanor looks worried: has she been found out?

At Jason and Tahani's house, Chidi is there as Jason offers her his gift, a much better one than he had earlier: "I made you a art", a painting of three ballerinas who all look like Tahani, in the Impressionist style. Tahani exclaims that, although he doesn't say things, only her true soul mate would give such a perfect gift. As she hugs him, Jason and Chidi trade thumbs-up: clearly Chidi gave Jason good advice.

The neighborhood assembles for the meeting, and Eleanor tells Chidi she did as she promised, she helped Michael, and she's been found out, but she looks cool with it. Then Michael starts the meeting, and says he's found the cause of the neighborhood's problems: himself. So he will leave them forever.

StarringEdit

Guest StarringEdit

Co-StarringEdit

Trivia Edit

  • Original broadcast audience: 4.23 million
  • There are many references to the show Friends in this episode